Best practices from leading brands

Facebook autoplay. Best practices from leading brands.

AdAge recently published a great article about the ongoing agencies efforts to build internal video production capabilities. As AdAge noted, "Any shop today that can't quickly churn out clips for Instagram, live streams for Meerkat and commercials for TV will find itself at risk, according to agency executives. "It's requisite to the sustainability of the agency," said David Rolfe, director-integrated production at BBDO New York." 

The real-time nature of the digital media coupled with explosive online video growth creates incredible opportunities (as well as challenges) for digital agencies to produce video content in near real time in many formats on many platforms. It will unlock significant revenue growth potential from video production and distribution.

Vine taught brands how to work with short videos, but Facebook (and Instagram) will be the place where it will get a really huge traction. About a year ago Facebook launched a video platform with key feature being autoplay. Videos will load automatically on your screen (both mobile and desktop). 

As I described in the previous article, for many years YouTube was doing an outstanding work teaching brands to create simple and engaging video content. Now we’ll examine how Facebook gives new meaning to the word “simple” and look at how leading global brands and publishers experiment with Facebook videos. 

As Facebook showed in F8 conference keynote, there are very creative ways how brands and publishers leverage autoplay feature. Great Facebook videos (except for TV ads or other long-form videos) don't need sound. These videos deliver messages even in the soundless environment (although, most of them have sound).

Below you will find the most extensive Facebook autoplay use cases gallery with the best examples from leading brands and publishers (analyzing top 50 global brands and publishers on Facebook). Click on any brand to see example.

Enrich images/moving pictures. Enriching images means taking static pictures (except for Time example) and adding extra animation to one particular detail. It creates moving picture effect and effectively captures attention. It's also the cheapest way to take advantage of Facebook autoplay since preparation of of these pictures requires little extra work. Use moving pictures to create a specific environment or mood (like Interstellar or Starbucks does) or use it to highlight specific product features (as BMW did with innovative headlights introduction). TIME is using moving pictures to introduce each new print edition cover. 




Charts, timelines and infographics. If you publish professional analytical content (business, economy etc.), use facebook autoplay videos to capture audience attention with animated charts, timelines and infographics. The Economist pioneered this approach and use animated charts very often. 




Post illustrations. Many brands use videos to illustrate post messages. Most pages use animated videos with an average length of 10sec. In this case, videos continue and/or support post text message. No surprise that Oreo is the leader here considering brand's wide presence on many different social platforms. Oreo created a series of 8 crazy short videos called "Play With Oreo Recipes". It featured 20 sec. animations on how to prepare several different Oreo recipes. It looks very freaky, but definitely stands out. Nutella went a simple way and made 5 sec. animated Easter greeting, but considering brand audience it hits the spot. Target created animation celebrating 15.000.000 fans milestone. Creating facebook videos for audience milestones is a growing practice between many brands since most pages use special posts anyway. Now there's an opportunity to celebrate in style. Speaking of style...You don't need crazy animations to get the attention. BMW proved it with BMW kidney grille timeline. Louis Vuitton joined the band with the very elegant 2015 celebration video. 






GIF-like videos. Facebook newsfeed currently doesn't support gifs, but clever marketers solve this with videos imitating gifs. However, most pages often don't loop videos and fail to create a real gif-like experience. Who's using this concept? Apparently, many brands. Below are several examples from different verticals. I really like H&M example. It's executed perfectly: looks a lot like real GIF, has several versions and delivers true H&M look and feel. 






Extra short videos. Vine trained brands to think creatively to deliver short video stories. Looks like many brands used new found creative skills on Facebook too. Ahead of the crowd is Oreo. Again. Oreo created a series of 6 sec. crazy videos with various crazy Oreo cookies "magic stunts" successfully catching interest right from the first moment. Another winner is Skype who used its emoticons animations. Although, it would've been smart to loop it and maybe allow audience download these videos for public use. 




Videos with titles. Adding video titles is a great way to deliver your message without sound, use text as call-to-action and drive user engagement. CNN went the extra mile and made vertical videos optimizing video experience for mobile users. I think CNN promoted it for mobile users only.







How-To's. Use short videos to show production process, present instructions or give inspiration to your audience. 



Competitions. Facebook videos could be a great way to organize competitions. Target made a very simple yet brilliant videos showing two frames with different objects where users had to tell the difference. The engagement was done via comments below these videos. Transformers showed two characters from the movie. Users commented which characters they choose. 



Be creative. You've seen many ways how videos on Facebook can be used to catch attention and drive engagement, but it doesn't mean that you have to follow the lead. Create your own awesome ideas. Avatar developed a series of 5 sec. videos teaching pronunciation of "navi" language words.